ICS Stands Firm behind Shipping’s CO2 Reduction Goals

Responding to the Sustainable Shipping Initiative’s concerns that measures being taken by shipping fall short of what is required to achieve the 2 degree climate change goal, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) said that this misunderstands the approach already agreed at the UN negotiations on the obligations of different sectors of the global economy.

“The UNFCCC recognises that developed and developing nations should accept differing CO2 reduction commitments. International shipping is no different, especially in view of its vital role in the movement of about 90% of global trade,” the ICS said in a release.

“Recent data published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development confirms that maritime trade now benefits developed and developing nations equally. To suggest that the global shipping industry should be treated like a developed country for the purpose of setting CO2 targets is therefore inappropriate,” the ICS added.

ICS asserted that higher levels of CO2 reduction than those to which the industry is committed would be “incompatible with UN sustainable development goals and the continuing improvement of living standards as the world population increases.”

The reaction comes following the publication of a Synthesis Report by the UN, analysing the impact of the pledges made by 146 nations to reduce CO2 emissions in advance of next week’s Climate Change Conference in Paris.

The ICS claims that the mandatory CO2 reduction measures already adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), combined with the aggressive fuel efficiency measures being taken by merchant ships worldwide, will proportionately deliver far more ambitious CO2 reductions than the pledges so far made by governments.

On the other hand, the UNFCCC says governments’ commitments overall should reduce CO2 emissions per capita by just 5% in 2030 compared to 2010.

“Shipping has already reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 10% (2007- 2012) despite continuing growth in maritime trade, and reduced CO2 per tonne of cargo transported one kilometre (tonne-km being a comparable metric to emissions per capita) by around 20% in the past 10 years,” the Chamber said.

What is more, the Chamber continued, IMO rules already adopted require all ships built after 2025 to be at least 30% more fuel efficient.

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